Carlton showed some fight in the first match of the post-Mick Malthouse era, but were sunk by a seven-goal barrage from Lance Franklin,losing by 60-points at the SCG on Friday.
Trailing by 63 points at the last break the Blues went goal for goal in the last quarter winning it by three points, but couldn’t prevent the Swans logging a comfortable 19.8 (122) to 9.8 (62) victory.
It was a fourth straight win for Sydney but interim Carlton coach John Barker could also salvage something from his team’s effort.
They were coming off successive 78 and 77-point thrashings, the midweek sacking of Malthouse and the unavailability of star midfielders, Chris Judd, Bryce Gibbs and Marc Murphy.
Franklin, who had gone goalless in two of his previous three games, notched his biggest haul of the season and eclipsed his six-goal effort in the corresponding fixture last year.
It was an appropriate way for the AFL’s indigenous round to start.
There was one unsavoury incident just before halftime when police had to move into the crowd after an altercation.
It happened soon after another of the code’s biggest indigenous stars, Adam Goodes, celebrated a goal with an indigenous war cry, but police said the incident had nothing to do with anyone on the field.
Goodes denied the celebration was a response to anything untoward.
“(Nothing untoward) not at all, proud to be Aboriginal and represent,” Goodes told the Seven Network’s Matthew Richardson post-match.
It shaped as a productive night for Franklin after he kicked the Swans first three goals, after Carlton opened the scoring with two behinds.
That was their last lead of the night as they were forced into defence mode for much of the night.
Franklin gave 50 game milestone man Simon White a torrid time in the first quarter.
The Blues were virtually non-existent as an attacking presence in the first half.
Sydney had almost double the inside 50s at halftime, with Carlton notching just two goals from their 17 entries.
Carlton fans had to wait 26 minutes of both quarters for their sole goal of each term.
The Blues showed more offensive spark in the third quarter kicking three of the first five goals
They undid much of the good work by conceding 50-metre penalties to gift Dan Hannebery and Goodes goals as Sydney slammed on four straight majors to blow their buffer out to 63 points at the last change.